Fieldtesting the iPod Photo

I got an iPod Photo a while ago. I didn’t really need it; my pocket FM tuner works quite well most of the time, but since the rest of the world is going iPod crazy it though I should join the party. The excuse used to buy was actually an upgrade of my digital camera from the first semi-dSLR to a full fledged Nikon dSLR, and when traveling it would be quite nice to be able to shoot away and empty the photos to a portable harddisk and buy fewer memory cards. So after 14 days in Sardinia, does the iPod Photo work?

The iPod Photo isn’t much larger than a regular iPod (- especially not since the iPod Photo line was killed/merged into the regular iPod), and the iPod Camera Connector along with a USB cable doesn’t add too much in size requirements when bringing the iPod along. Do notice, that not all digital cameras are supported, but my Nikon D70 was.

Using the iPod Photo with the camera is straight forward and requires no manual reading. Plug the pieces together, turn on the ipod and the camera – and select to download images (on the iPod) when it prompts you (after a second or two).

It tells you how many images, there are to download and does a simple progress bar so you can follow the process. It fells pain fully slow – but I don’t know if it the iPod, the camera or what, which causes the issue. Emptying a (full) 1Gb memory card takes half an hour or so.

If the images are in jpeg format, you can probably preview them, but when shootting RAW images, you can’t – so you basically have to hope the transfer didn’t mess up anything before erasing your memory card. I haven’t had any transfer issues, but still it would be nice to be able to confirm the images are alright.

Every time you connect and download images to the iPod, the iPod creates a new “film roll” and places your images in that folder. If you download half your images and abort, and later want to download the rest, your keep the first roll of film, and download all images again to a new folder, which is somewhat annoying.

Another little annoyance is that while downloading the iPod seems to use quite a lot of power. A fully charged iPod could probably not empty three 1 Gb cards without recharging – so remember to bring the iPod charger along.

Pros:

  • very easy setup and use.
  • not just a photo harddisk, also music jukebox.
  • fairly light and fits in most camerabags.

Cons:

  • No RAW previews
  • Slow
  • Uses a lot of battery

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